Washington State Football: Cougars Battle, Stanford Cardinal Win In the Final Seconds 24-17 To Keep Their North Title Hopes Alive


October 27, 2012; Stanford, CA, USA; Washington State Cougars wide receiver Dominique Williams (80) catches a touchdown pass in front of Stanford Cardinal cornerback Alex Carter (25) during the second quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The Cougars of Washington State came within 9 yards of a tie, but in the end a pick 6 early in the 4th quarter kept Stanford in the top 25 and kept their drive to the BCS alive. The Cougars went down 24-10 at that point with about 10 minutes to play and things were looking very bleak for WSU. But a beautiful drive by the entire offense pulled it back to within 7 as Tuel hit Dominique Williams from 3 yards out. The Cougs then stopped Stanford with about 4 minutes left and got the ball back with a chance to tie. Another terrific drive was slowed by a chop block penalty and then after a big time 4th and 21 conversion to Bobby Ratliff, Jeff Tuel failed the offense on back to back plays. First, an intentional grounding penalty lost a down and ran 10 seconds off down to 15. The final play saw Tuel take 5 more seconds just to get the snap off before taking a sack to end the game.

Washington State came into the game and played courageously, taking a 7-3 lead midway through the 2nd quarter on a touchdown pass from Tuel to Dominique Williams in the back corner of the endzone. 2 plays later the Cardinal were back up though, as a blown coverage turned into a 75 yard touchdown pass from Josh Nunes to Jamal Rashad-Patterson. WSU would tie it before halftime as Tuel led the team down for a field goal at the end of the half. Tuel completed a school record 42 of 60 passes for 402 and 2 touchdowns.

The difference in the game were the interception and 10 sacks by Stanford’s defensive line, including of course the game winning sack as time ran out. Tuel was very impressive all game but he was rushed a whole lot with 4 or less rushing and that makes for a tough go. Stanford ran and ran some more, but never broke the big one that has so often been the back breaker by WSU’s opponents. The Cougar defense did give up an opening 2nd half drive to Stanford, making it at least 4 games in a row in which the opponent has scored a touchdown to begin the second 30 minute stanza.